Laura will be stepping down from the top political job at the BBC early next year and leaves some very big shoes to fill. Here are all the names being linked to the coveted role.
For many, television host Laura Kuenssberg is the face of British politics – having relentlessly followed Prime Ministers and politicians up and down the country and beyond while serving as the BBC ’s political editor since 2015.
The laser-focused 45-year-old politics expert has covered some of the monumental moments of British political history – from the Brexit referendum to the Labour party’s antisemitism shame to Boris Johnson ’s landslide 2019 General Election victory.
But her time in the top spot at the BBC’s political office is due to come to an end next year as she plans to step down from the coveted role.
Laura made history by becoming the first ever female presenter to helm the role and now speculation is rife over who could replace her once she embarks on fresh challenges in April 2022.
Here are some of the rumours about who will replace her.
AFP via Getty Images)
An accomplished political journalist herself, 50-year-old Vicki is regarded by many as the natural choice to replace Laura next year.
The former BBC Breakfast correspondent has served as deputy political editor for the corporation since October 2020.
Politico’s Alex Wickham thinks Vicki is a shoe-in for the role as she already has the right understanding of how things work at the Beeb.
He mused: “[Vicki is] the sort of safe pair of hands that new BBC Director General Tim Davie is looking for, and won’t set off a culture war.”
Jon has a string of impressive job titles under his belt having worked for Auntie since 1983 when he joined as a reporter.
Over the years, the 62-year-old has been a presenter and correspondent for BBC World News, chief political correspondent for BBC News, as well as a presenter on BBC One’s The Politics Show and as a presenter on BBC World News’ Global.
He relocated to the USA in 2014 and served as the BBC’s North America editor while out there.
He set tongues wagging that he had his eyes on the main political editor role when he quit Washington earlier this year, declaring on Twitter : “I’m off.. After 7+ fab years in DC, 3 books, 3 presidents (one kept me busier than others) it’s time to return to the UK and BBC mothership.”
Broadcasting pro Amol found his feet working on The Wright Stuff between 2006 and 2007 where his profile began to rise as he served as the secondary presenter of the talk show.
He moved on to become a journalist, working for the since-defunct Independent print newspaper as well as the London Evening Stadnard, among others.
He later started making inroads at the BBC working on radio stations and also helming shows including The One Show and has hosted the flagship Radio 4 show Today.
Politico’s Alex Wickham described 38-year-old Amol as something of a golden child of the BBC, and predicts he will: “end up in whatever role he wants at the Beeb, so highly rated is he by the top brass.”
Faisal has expertly skipped from Sky and Channel 4 where he worked as political editor and economics editor to join the BBC in 2019 as economics editor.
The 44-year-old has occasionally presented Newsnight and is well respected within the broadcast news industry.
Faisal was described as former BBC director of news and current affairs, Fran Unsworth, as a talent with: “serious economic and political pedigree”.
While the star has racked up a number of impressive awards over the years including the Business Journalist of the Year, the Asian Achiever’s Award for outstanding Achievement in Media, Arts& Culture, and the 2017 Royal Television Society award for the Interview of the Year for his interview with then-Prime Minister David Cameron.
Alex joined the BBC back in 2010 where she worked as home affairs correspondent, education correspondent and Middle East correspondent.
In 2019 she was promoted to the role of political correspondent for the BBC and sounded pretty overjoyed about it.
The 38-year-old tweeted at the time: “Thrilled & very excited to be taking up a new BBC role as a Political Correspondent based outside of London. The idea is big themes and great stories, politics & policy, Brexit & beyond, driven by the people who feel the impact of decisions made in Westminster.”
While she is also said to be “well-liked” and “a rising star” within the BBC.
The Bookies’ Favourite
Meanwhile, bookmakers Ladrbokes have singled out Vicki Young as their favourite to take over the reigns os the top BBC political pundit.
The 50-year-old has been the deputy political editor of BBC News since October 2020 and is a hot favourite to take over from Laura when she steps down in April next year.
Vicki’s odds of taking the top spot are at 3/1, Ladbrokes says, while her closest competition comes from Jon Sopel, with odds of 7/2, after he left Washington where he was BBC North America Editor until quitting in October this year.
Ladbrokes also list Amol Rajan as a contender with odds at 6/1 – while there is also a chance Lewis Goodall could land the gig with odds at 8/1.
Meanwhile, on an outside shot is Robert Peston at odds of 25/1 suggesting he could ditch his role at ITV to return to the BBC.
Jessica O’Reilly of Ladbrokes said: “It’s looking like a clear two-horse race between Young and Sopel to step into Kuenssberg’s shoes, with the current BBC Deputy Political Editor edging the betting.”
The BBC Insider’s Choice
Vicki has even been backed by political presenter Andrew Marr – who quit his Sunday politics show yesterday.
The 62-year-old Scottish broadcaster served as political editor at the BBC from 2000 until 2005 – and has nothing but high praise for Vicki.
He said back in October: “I don’t have any inside knowledge but I think Vicki Young, the current deputy political editor should get it.
“I think she would be brilliant, she is a real talent and it would be great to see her in the job.”